Flight Lieutenant Kamlesh Singh Mandla was commissioned in the Indian Air Force in October, 1965. On 3rd July, 1973 he was asked to carry out an air test of a Gnat aircraft. At 20,000 feet when he lowered the undercarriage, the control column jerked to the right and consequently the aircraft commenced rolling viciously and uncontrollably to the right. Showing great presence of mind, he brought the undercarriage up and recovered the air craft successfully. He was instructed to reduce the speed and lower the undercarriage once again. The control column again jerked to the right and got stuck approximately one inch away from the neutral position. By full application of left rudder and with both hands forcing the control column to the left he managed to keep the aircraft straight, and carried out a safe landing, thus preventing what might have been a serious accident.
Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Kamlesh Singh Mandla displayed courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.